The filing period for candidates in April’s school board elections closed Monday, and Evanston voters will have choices to make for both local school boards.

Two incumbents and three challengers are seeking three positions on the District 65 board.

  • Sergio Hernandez Jr., of 1400 Kirk St, is the current school board president. He was appointed to the board in January 2017 to fill a vacancy and was elected to his first full term in 2019. He’s a former director of family and community engagement for the state board of education and is on the board of the Youth Job Center. Hernandez initially filed his petitions at 8 a.m. Dec. 12 — the start of the filing period. But he withdrew those petitions and filed a new set Monday, on the last day for filing petitions.
  • John Matthew Martin, 40, lives at 2335 Hastings Ave. in the 6th Ward.
  • Ndona Muboyayi, of 2111 Emerson St., finished sixth among eight candidates seeking election to the District 65 board in 2021. She has been active on the district’s Bilingual Parent Advisory Council and has advocated for reparations programs in Evanston.
  • Omar G. Salem, of 2005 Maple Ave. is issues director with the Illinois Federation of Teachers and an English teacher at Niles North High School. He has a master’s degree from National Louis University and is pursuing an MBA at Concordia University. He’s a member of the City of Evanston’s Equity and Empowerment Commission and a real estate agent. Salem was one of 13 people who applied in September to fill the board vacancy created by the resignation of Marquese Weatherspoon.
  • Mya Wilkins, of 8625 Central Park Ave. in Skokie, the executive director of marketing at Chase Bank, was appointed in October to fill a board vacancy created by the resignation of Anya Tanyavutti. She has an MBA from Northwestern University.

Four incumbents and two newcomers have filed for four positions on the Evanston Township High School board.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Exciting news that we have competitive races for both school boards.
    Thanks to Evanston Now for reporting on this. I look forward to reading more about candidates and their positions heading into the election.
    To would-be voters: Please learn about the candidates, ask them questions and vote. The school board positions are among our community’s most important but typically get voted on by a miniscule percentage of citizens.

    1. Hopefully, there will be more detailed reporting, especially about the candidates’ histories with the district and any outside affiliations.

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